Rediscover: Gotham

Edwin G. Burrows, a professor at Brooklyn College for 41 years and co-author of Gotham: A History of New York City to 1898, died on May 4 at age 74. He and co-author Mike Wallace shared the 1999 Pulitzer Prize for History. At more than 1,400 pages, Gotham is a monumental work spanning the first Dutch landings, wars with Native Americans, the city under colonial control, its financial role in the slave trade, the Civil War and 1863 Draft Riots, and the constant demographic shifts caused by immigration. Burrows was also the author of Forgotten Patriots: The Untold Story of American Prisoners During the Revolutionary War (2008) and The Finest Building in America: The New York Crystal Palace, 1853-1858 (2018).

In 2017, Mike Wallace continued the History of New York City series with Greater Gotham: A History of New York City from 1898 to 1919. This 1,100-page narrative of early 20th-century New York was originally meant to run through the end of World War II, but was split due to an abundance of material. An upcoming third volume will cover 1920 to 1945. Gotham remains a definitive volume on New York history, itself a microcosm of the country at large; as Burrows put it in a 2012 interview: "The history of the city provides a framework for grasping the whole of the American experience." Gotham is available in paperback from Oxford University Press ($34.95, 9780195140491). --Tobias Mutter

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